Greek shipowners control more than 22% of the global liquid natural gas (LNG) carrier fleet in deadweight tonnage terms, says a new report from the consultancy firm VesselsValue.
The report says that the Greek-owned fleet consists of 135 LNG tankers, out of a total of some 640 in the oceans and seas today.
Vessels that incorporate particularly demanding technologies, their construction costs range around $200 million apiece. The expansion of that fleet to cover the growing global demand is an effort that takes many years, because of that complexity.
Greece, and the rest of Europe, is currently in a race to reduce energy dependence on Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said earlier in March, adding that LNG will play a prominent part in the diversification of supplies.
Greek shipowners’ LNG fleet is the most expensive in the world
According to VesselsValue, in November 2021, the Greek-owned LNG carrier fleet was assessed to be the most expensive in the world, valued at $19.118 billion, followed by Japan’s ($18.1 billion), China’s ($10.4 billion) and South Korea’s ($9 billion).
In this domain of global shipping there have been major investments for over a decade by such Greek shipping groups as Angelicoussis, Procopiou and Livanos, followed more recently by shipowners such as Evangelos Marinakis, Michalis Chandris, Panagiotis Tsakos, George Economou, Anna Angelicoussi, Dinos Martinos, Andreas Martinos and the Latsis family.
Greek merchant fleet grew by 32% in three years
In an earlier report, VesselsValue said that the overall value of the Greek-owned merchant shipping fleet grew over 32% in the past three years and now stands at $132.58 billion.
The report said that Greece’s active fleet consists of 4,546 ships with a total value of $117.59 billion. To those, add the 187 vessels that are now under construction, and the entire fleet is worth a whopping $14.99 billion.
The increase in value is mainly the result of higher fees for container and dry cargo ships, but even for tankers, where fees have not risen as much, there has been a significant increase in value.
The report also noted that the composition and size of the Greek merchant fleet have also changed. The number of vessels may have not changed much – the number of operating plus under construction ships stands at 4,833, up from 4,574 in 2018 – but the average tonnage per ship has increased.